Friday, May 05, 2017

GB: Rider who jumped 1m course after 20 lessons takes on international event - Full Artice

Sarah Radford 07:06 - 5 May, 2017

A non-rider who learned to jump a 1m course in just 20 lessons has set himself a new challenge for 2017 — to compete in the 40km endurance class at Royal Windsor.

Novice horseman Peter Wilkes, who is managing director of equestrian manufacturer Vale Brothers, took up the reins last year after being inspired by a talk on participation at the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) conference.

After the talk, he approached riding instructor Kay Scott-Jarvis to ask how long it would take to learn to jump a 70cm track.

“I asked her how long it would take at one lesson a week and she wouldn’t give me an answer,” said Peter, who was 53 at the time. “She said the worst case scenario would be 18 months. I said ‘I’ll give you ten weeks.’”

After successfully negotiating the first challenge, Peter was keen to up the stakes and after a further ten sessions tackled a 1m course.

“I fell off at the fifth fence so in some respects I don’t feel I completed it, as I need to do a clear round,” he said. “I made the statement beforehand ‘how hard can it be?’ I meant how hard can the ground be when I hit it!”

Not perturbed by his tumble, Peter summoned a new ambition for this year, and decided to confront the international endurance at the Royal Windsor Horse Show (May 12)...

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